He knocked, and a female voice answered with a firm, “Who is it, please?”
“Rumplestiltskin and Snow White.”
Katrina twisted so quickly to look at him she nearly cricked her neck. “Rumplestiltskin and Show White?” she questioned, her unbelief nearly making her laugh out loud.
The door opened a crack, coming to stop at the end of the chain and the feminine voice said, “Let me see your ID, please.” Two fingers and a thumb hovered just inside the door’s opening and waited for his ID to be passed to her.
Gavin let go of Katrina’s elbow long enough to retrieve a card and his driver’s license and shove them between the fingers and thumb, and they were withdrawn into the room, the door closing with a firm snap. His hand reclaimed her elbow immediately.
Mere moments passed before the sound of chains being moved reached their ears and the door opened once more, but no person was in sight.
“Come in,” said the woman’s voice. Gavin, his hand still clamped on her upper arm, pushed Katrina forward into the motel’s dimmed room, closing the door quietly behind them.
Katrina looked into the room and saw who had been watching them. A heated ribbon of pure jealousy licked through her veins. She caught her breath in her agony.
Blonde, petite and beautiful were the words that came to Katrina's mind as she looked at the bodyguard standing just behind the newly locked door. Uniform or no, sexy was the next word which came unbidden to her mind.
The woman smiled warmly at Katrina as she reached out in greeting, taking Katrina's hand and giving it a firm, friendly shake.
"You must be Katrina. I'm Sally. Boy, am I glad to see you! It took you a lot longer to get here than we figured and I was becoming very concerned." She smiled again, her face showing relief and warmth.
Sally turned to Gavin. Katrina saw her give him a special smile, her eyes twinkling up at him. Katrina watched Gavin return Sally's smile. She felt she'd just been hit with a brick in her mid-section.
"You can take her things into that bedroom,” Sally said, pointing to a door.
“Thank you, Sally,” Gavin said with another smile at her. He walked in the direction Sally had indicated, carrying Katrina’s basket.
Sally turned back to Katrina.
"Please," she said, looking at Katrina’s face closely and indicating chairs and a divan. "Come and sit down. There's some coffee in the kitchenette, or some soft drinks or juice in the refrigerator. I'm afraid I can't offer much else until we get more supplies. Can I get you something?"
Katrina sat on the edge of the divan. Her head was hurting again, but she wasn't sure if the cause was from her injuries, from Charleston's threats, from Gavin's anger, or the jealousy now pounding through her veins.
"A little juice, if it wouldn't be too much trouble." Katrina felt parched, in addition to the pain coursing through her head.
"No trouble at all." Sally smiled and went to the corner where a little wet-bar type of kitchen was set up.
Katrina closed her eyes and massaged her throbbing temples. She got too close to her bump with her fingertips and winced with the pain it caused.
"Hurt a lot, Katrina?" Her eyes flew open. Gavin was standing before her. His face was shuttered, and she couldn't tell what he was thinking.
"Some," she admitted.
Gavin reached into his shirt pocket, withdrawing the packet of pills the doctor had given him for her. "Take one of these, then lie down for a while." His tone of voice brooked no argument from her.
Sally came over with a glass of cold orange juice just then and handed it to Katrina. Gavin stood before her, his commanding presence demanding her obedience. She took the small white tablet and swallowed it down, draining the glass of juice. Sally reached and took the empty glass.
Gavin held out his hand to Katrina and she placed her hand within it. He helped her to her feet and led her to the room she had been allotted.
Stepping through the door behind Gavin, she saw her nightgown laid out on the bed. Wordlessly, she looked up at Gavin. He avoided her gaze, but she continued to watch him.
"I'll see you in a couple of hours. Don't worry about a thing. You're safe now. Just rest." He glanced at her briefly and something flickered in his eyes and was gone. Katrina wondered what it was. Gavin smiled coldly and turned from her, walked through the portal and closed the door softly behind him.
Katrina stood looking at the closed door, feeling bereft. So much had happened in such a short time, she felt numb. Automatically she began to undress. Slipping into her granny-style nightie, she hooked the buttons and smoothed the collar into place. She folded her clothing neatly and set them on top of the dresser next to her basket. She’d unpack later.
Turning toward the bed, she caught a glimpse of herself in the full-length mirror on the back of the door. The reflection showed a prim little dab of a girl.
She thought of Sally in the next room with Gavin. She was pretty, sexy, and provocative. No wonder Gavin had smiled so warmly at Sally and so coldly at herself. Misery engulfed her.
Katrina, tears blurring her vision and burning the back of her eyelids, walked over to the bed. Head pounding even more, she lay down upon it, on top of the covers. Despite the agony of her feelings, the medication began to take effect, and Katrina slowly drifted off to sleep.
Katrina woke from her thankfully dreamless nap. She had no idea how long she had been sleeping, but she felt rested, the headache completely gone. She stretched languidly and looked at the clock on the nightstand. It was a few minutes before noon, so she had slept only a couple of hours.
Carefully sitting up, Katrina hoped the headache would not start again any time soon. Holding still for a moment, she took a mental inventory of her body. No pain. So far, so good.
Gingerly stepping to the door, Katrina listened. She could hear no noise outside of her room. Softly, she eased the door open. She could hear the quiet sounds of someone moving in the kitchen area. Easing her door closed again, she removed her nightgown and considered her clothing. Katrina eyed the dresser drawers, but, hoping they wouldn’t be in the motel long enough to need to really move in, she merely piled her things neatly on the top of the dresser.
She picked out one of her skirts, added a pretty, pale blue blouse with white trim, and slipped into the clothing quickly, hating to be alone longer than necessary.
That, in itself, was quite a change for her. During these past six years, she’d been happier, really, to be in her own company. It seemed safer, somehow, and she’d become used to it.
Since Gavin had entered her life, however, she hated to be alone. With all the danger now, it was worse. The whole business had been upsetting, to say the least. However, since she had actually heard Charleston's voice, she was extremely frightened.
What if they didn't catch him? What if he found her? What if he didn't believe her when she told him there was no money? What if Robert were here with him? What did Charleston mean when he’d said Uncle Andrew had left her some money? How much was ‘some’? Hadn’t Gavin told her Uncle Andrew had been rich? How rich was ‘rich’? And why would Uncle Andrew leave the money to her instead of to his own kin, as Charleston had asked her? It was interesting to her that, now that it was once again convenient for him to be married to her, he was claiming the marriage had been real. She wished she could find out the real truth about the ceremony. The questions began whirling through her mind again.
A telephone rang in the other room, breaking her negative train of thought. They'd catch him, she assured herself. They probably already had him in custody, considering they’d told Detective Beals he would be at her house in ten minutes. Everything was going to be okay. After all, Gavin had promised her, hadn't he? She comforted herself with this thought, then slipped into her pair of sandals and moved toward the bedroom door.